|Publication number||US7191092 B2|
|Application number||US 11/440,912|
|Publication date||Mar 13, 2007|
|Filing date||May 25, 2006|
|Priority date||Feb 25, 2003|
|Also published as||US7119645, US7189969, US20040184214, US20060219904, US20060229842|
|Publication number||11440912, 440912, US 7191092 B2, US 7191092B2, US-B2-7191092, US7191092 B2, US7191092B2|
|Inventors||Leandra Vicci, Richard Superfine|
|Original Assignee||The University Of North Carolina|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Non-Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (7), Classifications (14), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/786,427 filed Feb. 25, 2004, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/449,930, filed Feb. 25, 2003, the disclosures of each of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
This work was supported by NIH Grant Number 1R01EB000761-01. Thus, the U.S. Government has certain rights to this invention.
The present invention relates to methods and systems for controlling motion of and tracking a mechanically unattached probe. More particularly, the present invention relates to magnetic structures for magnetically controlling the motion of a mechanically unattached probe in one, two, or three dimensions, where the magnetic structures are compatible with high resolution optics used for imaging and tracking.
In the field of scanning probe microscopy, small probes interact with samples under test to measure mechanical properties of the samples under test. For example, in atomic force microscopy, a small probe (typically sub-micrometer sized) is attached to the end of a cantilever. As the probe is scanned across the surface of a sample under test, such as the membrane of a cell, surface irregularities impose a varying force on the probe, which, in turn, results in a bending or deflection of the cantilever. An optical sensor senses the deflection of the cantilever based on light reflected from the cantilever and thereby determines changes in normal position of the probe as it is scanned across the surface of the sample under test. The changes in normal position of the probe are used to map the surface of the sample under test.
One way to measure properties of structures inside of cells and other enclosed environments is to mechanically decouple the probe from the remainder of the system. However, once the probe is mechanically decoupled from the remainder of the system, tracking and controlling movement of the probe become problematic. One known technique of applying force to a mechanically decoupled probe is referred to as “optical tweezers.” This technique requires high optical field intensities that interact strongly with many materials and may produce undesirable side effects on experiments in biological samples.
Commonly-assigned, co-pending international patent application number PCT/US02/30853 describes a magnetic coil and pole assembly with four pencil-shaped pole pieces that converge from the vertices of an equilateral tetrahedron. Although such an assembly is useful in many environments, it may be desirable to control the motion of a probe in microscopes having high numerical aperture (NA) objective lenses with short focal distances. For example, some lenses may have numerical apertures greater than or equal to one at focal distances on the order of millimeters. Such lenses typically have large diameters and thus limit the space for placement of magnetic pole pieces used to control the motion of mechanically unattached probes. The space for placing pole pieces is even further limited when high NA objective lenses are placed both above and below the sample under test. In addition, at some positions within the volume defined by the pole pieces in a four-pole system, moving the probe in certain directions can be difficult.
Another factor to be considered in designing and placing magnetic pole pieces to control motion of a mechanically unattached magnetic probe is that the magnetic force on the probe for a given magnetic field varies inversely with r5, where r is the distance from the pole tip applying the magnetic force to the magnetic probe. Thus, in order to apply strong magnetic forces to a probe, it is desirable that the pole tips be kept as close as possible to the probe. However, because the pole tips compete for space with imaging and tracking optics, designing a system that achieves desired magnetic forces and that is compatible with high-resolution optics is difficult.
Accordingly, there exists a long felt need for improved magnetic structures for applying magnetic force to a mechanically unattached probe that are suitable for use with high resolution optics or in other space-constrained environments.
The present invention includes methods and systems for controlling and tracking the motion of a mechanically unattached probe. By mechanically unattached, it is meant that the probe is not mechanically attached to its motion control system. The present invention is not limited to controlling the motion of a probe that is not mechanically attached to anything. For example, a probe may be weakly bound to a surface of a sample under test and be allowed to diffuse on the surface. In another example, a probe may be bound to the surface of a sample under test and forces may be applied to the probe in a direction normal to the surface to measure the forces that bind the probe.
According to one aspect of the invention, a magnetic coil and pole assembly for controlling motion of a mechanically unattached probe is provided. The assembly includes at least one magnetic pole carrier. The pole carrier includes a light transmissive substrate and a plurality of magnetic pole pieces being patterned on the substrate in a manner for applying force to a mechanically unattached magnetic probe. A magnetic drive core is magnetically coupled to the magnetic poles to provide a low reluctance return path for the magnetic flux induced between the poles. A plurality of magnetic coils is wound around the drive core for conducting current and applying magnetic force to the probe.
In one implementation, the magnetic pole carrier comprises a slide cover slip and the magnetic poles are thin film structures patterned on the cover slip. Using a slide cover slip is advantageous because it is thin and light transmissive. Using thin film magnetic poles is also advantageous due to the thinness of the poles and the ability to fabricate the poles using semiconductor manufacturing processes. However, the present invention is not limited to using a slide cover slip for the pole plate or using thin film magnetic poles. Any light transmissive substrate and pole structure suitable for use with high numeral aperture lenses in an optical microscope are intended to be within the scope of the invention. For example, in an alternate implementation, the pole pieces may be laminated foil structures cut from a sheet of magnetic material rather than thin film structures manufactured using semiconductor manufacturing techniques.
If three dimensional motion control is desired, a hexapole pole piece arrangement may be used for the magnetic coil and pole assembly. In alternate arrangements, thin film magnetic poles may be formed in arbitrary patterns on a substrate to apply desired magnetic forces to one or more mechanically unattached magnetic probes in one, two, or three dimensions. For example, if motion in a single direction is desired, a magnetic pole and coil assembly of the present invention may include a single thin film or thin foil pole piece located on a light transmissive substrate. Locating any number of pole pieces on a light transmissive substrate is intended to be within the scope of the invention.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide magnetic structures for controlling motion of a mechanically unattached magnetic probe.
It is another object of the invention to provide a magnetic coil and pole assembly for controlling motion of a mechanically unattached magnetic probe and that is suitable for use with high numerical aperture lenses.
Some of the objects of the invention having been stated hereinabove, and which are addressed in whole or in part by the present invention, other objects will become evident as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings as best described hereinbelow.
Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:
The methods and systems for controlling motion of and tracking a mechanically unattached magnetic probe may be implemented in 3D force microscopes with high numerical aperture lenses.
The system also includes a piezoelectric (x, y, z) translation stage 206 controlling position of sample under test (SUT) 205, which physically contains probe 202. The motion of SUT 205 is coupled to probe 202 by the viscoelastic properties of SUT 205, thereby also affecting the motion of probe 202. A position control feedback loop comprises position gauge 230, PID controller 232, and high voltage driver 234 in controller module 208; and piezoelectric actuators 226 and capacitive position sensors 228 in translation stage 206. This feedback loop is used to rapidly and accurately cause the position of SUT 205 to follow a position control signal from computer 204, and to feed back a stage position signal to computer 204 representing the measured position of SUT 205.
In order to image and track probe 202, the system illustrated in
Maintaining the probe within this functional range is essential to the operation of the system. This is accomplished using feedback methods in various operational modes. In all modes, the feedback minimizes the estimated (x, y, z) position of probe 202 relative to the center of the beam waist of laser 214 at the focus of optics 216.
One mode in which the system illustrated in
Another mode is force control mode. In force control mode, computer 204 provides a desired force control signal to apply a predetermined force profile to probe 202 over time. Computer 204 also executes feedback code driving the position control signal to cause probe 202 to remain fixed relative to the beam waist. This is equivalent to causing probe 202 to move relative to SUT 205 in a trajectory that is exactly opposite the motion caused by the position control signal. The position control signal represents the trajectory followed by probe 202 in response to the applied force signal.
A mode closely related to position control mode is velocity control mode. In velocity control mode, Computer 204 calculates a position trajectory satisfying initial conditions and a predetermined desired velocity profile, and uses position control mode to cause probe 202 to follow this position trajectory.
The present invention is not limited to these operational modes. Any combination of feedback from stage position and probe position signals to force control and position control signals is intended to be within the scope of the invention. In addition, the present invention is not limited to using the forward light scattering method described with respect to
As stated above, the present invention preferably includes magnetic structures that are suitable for use with high numerical aperture objective lenses.
In some applications, it may be desirable to control the motion of a mechanically unattached probe in any direction in three dimensions. One design for magnetic coil and pole assembly 200 that is suitable for three dimensional motion control is a hexapole design. In the hexapole design, six thin film or laminated foil poles are used to control the motion of a mechanically unattached probe in three dimensions.
If the midpoints of adjacent faces of cube 400 are connected as shown in
In one exemplary implementation, the hexapole design may be implemented by providing pole pieces 410 and 412 on upper and lower carriers and providing pairs of magnetizing coils for magnetizing each pole piece.
In order to apply magnetic force to a mechanically unattached probe, assembly 200 includes upper and lower magnetic coil assemblies 504 and 506. Assemblies 504 and 506 each include a plurality of magnetic coils 508 being wound around tabs 510 on upper and lower magnetic drive ring cores 512A and 512B. Assembly 200 may also include a mounting stage 514 for holding the cores, coils, carriers, and the sample. In the illustrated example, mounting stage 514 includes a hinged portion 516 for holding upper magnetic coil assembly 504. In operation, hinged portion 516 is closed to bring assembly 504 in close proximity to the pole pieces located on upper pole carrier 502.
The surface of each tab 510 that faces one of the pole pieces 410 or 412 is referred to as a pole face. When hinged portion 516 is closed, there may be air gaps between the pole faces and the pole piece that each pole face pair is magnetizing.
The present invention is not limited to using glass for pole carriers 500 and 502. Any material that is transmissive to electromagnetic energy at the wavelengths used for imaging and/or tracking is intended to be within the scope of the invention. The present invention is likewise not limited to using permalloy for pole pieces 410 and 412. Any suitable magnetic material with low hysteresis, low eddy currents, high saturation flux, and high permeability may be used without departing from the scope of the invention.
The thicknesses of pole pieces 410 and 412 may be selected based on a variety of engineering trade-offs. For example, in a configuration in which pole pieces 410 and 412 are sandwiched between upper and lower high NA objective lenses, the focal distances of the lenses, the space required for the sample slide, and the space required for pole carriers 500 and 502 limit the thicknesses of pole pieces 410 and 412. Pole pieces 410 and 412 are preferably made thick enough so that they do not saturate with magnetic flux before the flux reaches the pole tips. In a high force application where increased magnetic force is more important than three dimensional motion control symmetry, pole pieces 410 and 412 can be made thicker and located in the same plane.
In order to drive one of the pole pieces 410 or 412, it is desirable to magnetize the upper and lower coils 508 above and below the pole piece being magnetized so that each coil has the same magnetic sense in the direction of the pole piece. That is, the upper and lower coils for a particular pole piece are preferably magnetized so that the north poles or the south poles of the coils face each other. This may be accomplished by wiring coils in the same vertical stack in series and winding the coils in opposite directions so that a current flowing in a given direction in each coil pair results in either the north or south poles facing each other.
Magnetizing the coils so that like poles face each other directs magnetic flux in the direction of the pole tip of the pole piece and into the sample. The flux may return through the other pole tips and the drive ring cores. It should be noted that it is not desirable to magnetize coils in the same vertical stack so that unlike poles face each other. For example, if a north pole in a vertical coil stack faces a south pole, flux emanating from the north pole will terminate in the south pole, rather than flowing through the pole piece. This is undesirable since less flux will reach the magnetic probe.
In order to effect motion towards one of the pole pieces, the pole piece may be energized with a magnetic force that is stronger in magnitude than the magnetic force of the other pole pieces. In addition, the magnetic sense of the pole piece towards which motion is desired is preferably opposite that of the other pole pieces.
Although the examples described above with regard to
As discussed above, the present invention may include imaging optics for viewing probe 202 in the sample under test.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, Koehler illumination is used to illuminate the subject. In Koehler illumination, light from the light source is focused by a collector lens to form an image of the light source on the back focal plane of a condenser. Accordingly, in
The imaging system illustrated in
One problem with any magnetic pole and core assembly in which the pole pieces intrude in the optical path is that the pole pieces may adversely affect imaging and tracking because the pole pieces block light rays that would otherwise be collected by the objective lenses.
In order to control the position of a mechanically unattached probe in three dimensions, it is necessary to be able to track the probe in three dimensions. Additional reasons for and advantages of tracking the probe in three dimensions are that such tracking allows mapping of surfaces within a tracked volume, and when coupled with applied force measurements, viscoelastic properties of samples under test can be determined. For example, three-dimensional optical tracking while applying forces in three dimensions can be used to determine mechanical properties of structures within a cell, within a cell culture, or in any other biological sample. Selective binding of the probe to specific organelles and large macromolecules can be used to determine binding coefficients.
Optical tracking equations based on intensity measurements made by quadrant photodiode 220 are theoretically based on Maxwell's Wave Equations. The following assumptions were made in order to perform the optical tracking calculations:
At the focus (i.e., the sample under test), the field generated by laser 214 undergoes the Gouy-phase jump, resulting in a ninety-degree phase shift between the focused laser field and a simple plane wave description of the phase of the light. The complex amplitude of the incident Gaussian electromagnetic field on the probe is given by
When the field at quadrant photodiode 220 is observed, far from the focal plane (r>>z0), the following approximations can be used:
the unscattered light in the far field is then given by
and this is normalized by
where cs is the speed of light in the sample under test. When a probe with a polarizability α, is placed at a position r′, near the geometric focal point, the Rayleigh approximation for the scattered field at large r>>z0 is
The change in the average light intensity I, due to the interference between the incident laser beam and the scattered light (subtracting the offset |E|2) is
Using equations (2) and (3), the intensity change in the back focal plane of objective 1202 for a probe displacement r′, from the geometrical focal point of objective 1202 is
The z-signal is extracted from the total intensity at the back focal plane of lens 1202. Thus, equation (4) can be integrated over all angles to obtain the z-signal along the optical axis as:
The lateral probe displacement (i.e., displacement in a plane parallel to the surface of QPD 220), may be determined by the difference in intensity between two halves of QPD 220. Thus, it is necessary to integrate half of the detection area to obtain the lateral signals. The two-dimensional result for a probe displacement, p′, in the focal plane at an angle φ′ is
Equations (5) and (6) or approximations of Equations (5) and (6) may be implemented as a position calculator in hardware and/or software in computer 204 illustrated in
Thus, the present invention includes methods and systems for controlling motion of and tracking a mechanically unattached probe. In one implementation, the invention includes a magnetic pole and coil assembly suitable for use in space-constrained environments, such as optical microscopes with high numerical aperture lenses. In order to effect motion of a mechanically unattached probe in three dimensions, upper and lower pole carriers may be patterned with a plurality of pole pieces. Upper and lower magnetic drive ring cores include coils that magnetize the pole pieces to apply magnetic force to the probe. The pole pieces may be manufactured using any suitable manufacturing technique for making thin magnetic materials in predetermined patterns. Examples of fabrication techniques include any semiconductor fabrication techniques or cutting the pole piece patterns from thin foils.
It will be understood that various details of the invention may be changed without departing from the scope of the invention. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration only, and not for the purpose of limitation, as the invention is defined by the claims as set forth hereinafter.
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|U.S. Classification||702/168, 250/440.11, 250/442.11, 250/306|
|International Classification||G01B7/28, G01Q60/50, G01Q10/06|
|Cooperative Classification||B82Y35/00, G01Q10/06, G01Q60/50|
|European Classification||B82Y15/00, B82Y35/00, G01Q10/06, G01Q60/50|
|Jun 9, 2008||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH), U.S. DEPT. OF
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY LICENSE;ASSIGNOR:THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL;REEL/FRAME:021062/0905
Effective date: 20070313
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|Jan 1, 2013||CC||Certificate of correction|
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Year of fee payment: 8